May GCACC Update from Caitlin & Ken
April was particularly windy and a bit wet, as usual, but the weather also brought fantastic progress and opportunity for our region. We held three networking events in April, a BIG one at BankGloucester in Ipswich, a fun one with our Businesswomen at the Crow’s Nest, and a casual one online via zoom, Coffee & Connections. The Chamber also pickedup from last year leading a follow-on pandemic relief grant through the North Shore Alliance for Economic Development providing additional business seminars, promotional exposure and adding capability to the new online business directory. Further, we are developing, in partnership with Senator Tarr, CATA, MassHire and local communities, a new prototype program to directly address the number one challenge facing many of our businesses – staff shortages. The program involves bringing up to 50 international students to our local businesses and facilitating greater participation of our local youth in summer jobs. As part of this we have developed new website called Cape Ann Works – List and find jobs on Cape Ann; here you easily (and at no cost) can post your jobs and directly connect to local job seekers. The lack of workers continues to be a major problem for our businesses, and this jobs program is one way that we are directly addressing that need.
We are gearingup for what is looking to be a fantastic summer visitor season, to include airline travelers this year. We are in print with our full complement of publications – 260,000 total pieces including the Greater Cape Ann Guide & Directory, Greater Cape Ann Map and Rockport Map; and are now turning our attention to website updates and associated social media pages. We’ve shifted into high gear on Spring and Summer event planning, including preparing to open our Rockport Visitor Center by Memorial Day, also marking the start of seven day a week operation in Gloucester. Related, our annual Spring Tourism Mixer is planned for May 4 at The Vista and we plan a Ribbon Cutting to celebrate their new Breakfast Pavilion Room – call or email us if you would like to attend.
We have several other events planned in May. Our popular and fun virtual Coffee & Connections on the first Thursday of every month, is on May 5. Then our Young Professionals will be at the Studio in Gloucester on May 12; we are hosting a first of what we expect to be an annual Wellfest with more than 30 health and wellness organizations on May 15 at the Cape Ann YMCA; then our full networking event is on May 18 at the Emerson Inn; and we wrap-up the month with our BIG education fundraiser on May 23, our golf tourney at Bass Rocks Golf. We are sold out for golfers, but there is still opportunity to sponsor. Proceeds from the tournament support everything the Chamber does for our Education Priority, including our Career & College Fair, DECA support, Career Days, classroom business training, internships, and scholarships.
Our affiliated Cape Ann Community Foundation is in its sixth annual grants cycle, and applications are due on May 6. The Foundation has awarded more than $70,000 in grants to date to over 20 local area non-profits and all three Cape Ann school systems. Grants are funded by proceeds from the beautiful Cape Ann license plate. These plates are easily ordered online here: Order a special Cape Ann license plate; it is only $40 every other year – show your love of Cape Ann every day, and support our region with a beautiful Cape Ann Plate.
The Chamber is advocating for you every day with our local officials and state legislators, promoting your business in print and on our multiple websites, and spotlighting your business and sharing your news through our social media channels andweekly e-newsletters. We also offer multiple advertising and sponsorship opportunities; monthly networking and signature community events for you to make connections and grow your business; and multiple committees to share your expertise and learn from your fellow members. USE US – we are here for you!
Greater Cape Ann’s vibrant business community plays an important role in what makes this area a special place to live, work and play. Together we have it all and are making great things happen.